Welcome to your first adventure at Origins! There are literally thousands of people who come year after year to this great show, but we are particularly happy when new folks join us for the first time. This is an exciting opportunity for you to discover the magic of an entire convention center full of gaming and game-related activities. Frankly, we kind of envy you and that first-time wonder. Remember, it isn’t just a con but an adventure! Here are some common questions and answers that should help you navigate the show:
Should I pre-register for the convention?
Absolutely! Not only do you get a discount on your badge fee, but you also avoid the on-site registration line. While our on-site lines are nowhere near as bad as they used to be, thanks to our registration team and our new registration system. Those who pre-register are able to walk right up to the pre-reg line, get their badge and tickets, and go gaming much quicker than on-site registrants.
What about pre-registering for events?
You should certainly look into it. If you go through the event schedule (which was posted online in April) and find games that you know for certain you will want to play, you are better off pre-registering for them. Not only does this guarantee you a seat at that table, but it also lets the organizer or game master know they should be expecting you.
Can I just show up on-site and play games?
Absolutely! Not only can you sign up for games on-site as part of your registration, (or if you pre-register, as a separate action), but you can also purchase any number of generic tokens to use as you wish. Generics come in $2.00 increments, and they match up with the cost of our events. If you see a game you want to play, and there is space available, you can just sit down and join in! You simply give the appropriate number of Generics to the game organizer. Those who have actually pre-purchased their tickets for the game as outlined above get priority on available seats, which is why most of our players want to pre-register for the games they REALLY want to play! Keep in mind that many of these cool events might be in high demand. Also, there are plenty of groups and companies running “open play” events where folks can literally just wander up, sit down, and start playing.
Ok, I’ve never been to the place. Where am I going?
Well, elsewhere in this book you’ll find the address and driving directions, so let’s assume you are at the Convention Center or at the Hyatt (the attached hotel). The first place you will need to find is the Registration Area, which is a large, long series of booths located out in the main hallway of the Convention Center. There’s a set of escalators that run between the Convention Center and the Hyatt; the Registration Area is very near the bottom of those escalators and pretty much impossible to miss. If you enter the Convention Center at the entrance closest to the Hyatt, the Registration Area will be right in front of you, along the left wall. If you enter from any of the other entrances, you’ll want to go to the main hallway and turn right, heading towards the long escalators. Again, you won’t be able to miss the Registration Area that way. Events are happening all around you, and the Convention Center is a huge place. Don’t worry; there will be a map showing you where everything is, as well as dozens of helpful staff people and volunteers to ask questions at any time. If in doubt, there’s an information booth right near the Registration Area with folks on hand to point you in the right direction.
How do I decide what games I want to play?
When the Event Registration System goes live in May (www.originsgamefair.com), you will be able to search it for events that may interest you. You can search according to game titles and systems (such as “Dungeons & Dragons” or “Risk”), broad categories (such as “role-playing” or “tabletop”), the names of clubs or individual game master you like to play with, times you know you will be available to play, and many other search criteria. You will want to pay particular attention to three pieces of information that each game will have listed: Minimum Age, Experience, and Complexity. The Minimum Age will give guidance on what is considered the appropriate age to play. The Experience listed will indicate whether or not newbies are really encouraged to try and play. Complexity will give you a sense of how much time and effort you will likely expend learning the game should you choose to try one you have never played.
Have more questions? Check out our FAQs.